The balance of the earthquake of magnitude 7.8 that hit southern Turkey and northern Syria last night has risen to at least 1,358 dead: this is what emerges from the calculations in the two countries. So far in Turkey there are at least 912 victims while in Syria a total of at least 446 between government-controlled areas (326) and rebel-controlled areas (over 120). All videos
The earthquake that struck Turkey last night was the largest disaster recorded in the country since 1939: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said today, as reported by the Guardian. According to media reports, the Turkish leader was referring to the Erzincan earthquake, which claimed the lives of some 33,000 people 84 years ago. The 1999 İzmit earthquake, measuring 7.6, is believed to have killed more than 17,000 people.
More than 30 earthquakes have been recorded so far in Turkey, including the first – last night – of magnitude 7.8 and the most recent one of magnitude 7.5. This is what emerges from the site of the US Geophysical Institute USGS. After the earthquake of magnitude 7.5 another shock was recorded – about 85 km to the east – of magnitude 5.8.
“We are coping the largest earthquake we have seen in 24 years in this region. There have been 100 aftershocks so far. About 53 of them are more than 4 degrees (on the Richter scale). Seven of them are more than 5 degrees. We can say that these earthquakes will continue in the coming days. ” This was stated by Dr. Haluk Özener, director of the Kandilli observatory and earthquake research institute, as reported by the BBC in Turkish.
The Syrian civil protection NGO White Helmets (White Helmets) has declared a state of emergency in the north-east of the country and has launched an appeal to international humanitarian organizations to intervene with aid quickly. The earthquake occurred at 4:17 in the morning (2:17 Italian time) and had its epicenter near Gaziantep, a city in southeastern Turkey about fifty kilometers from the Syrian border. Hundreds of buildings were destroyed by the earthquake: in addition to homes, the Church of the Annunciation of Iskenderun, a Catholic cathedral dating back to the 19th century, almost completely collapsed. The castle of Gaziantep, a Roman-era structure built in the third century, has been reduced to a pile of rubble. Rescue operations continue, it is estimated that many people are still under the rubble and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is constantly informed about the situation.
The Civil Protection Department had initially issued an alert for a possible tsunami caused by the earthquake in Turkey but the alert was later revoked. The United States has given its willingness to send “any type of assistance” to Ankara while a team of 370 people has already been sent from Azerbaijan to help with the relief efforts. The earthquake was also felt in the central provinces of Turkey and also in Israel.
White House, stand by to help – “The United States is deeply concerned by reports of today’s terrible earthquakes in Turkey and Syria. We stand ready to provide any assistance needed. President Biden has instructed USAID to evaluate US response options to help those most affected. We will continue to monitor the situation closely in coordination with the government of Turkey.” So the White House in a statement.
Zelensky, ‘ready to assist’ – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky expressed his condolences on Twitter to the victims of the earthquake that hit southern Turkey overnight and offered assistance. “We stand by the Turkish people in this difficult time. We are ready to provide the necessary assistance to overcome the consequences of the disaster,” Zelensky said in a tweet.
Putin, stand by to assist – Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated that Moscow is ready to provide all necessary assistance to Ankara following the powerful earthquake that has claimed many lives. The Kremlin, as Tass reports, quoted Putin’s condolence telegram to Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan: “We are ready to provide the necessary assistance following the earthquake”.
Russia is close to the Syrian people hit hard by last night’s earthquake. This is what we read in the message sent by Russian President Vladimir Putin to his Syrian colleague Bashar al Assad, according to a transcript by the Syrian government agency Sana. Putin also said that Russia is ready to help the Syrian people affected by tonight’s earthquake.
Borrell, the EU is ready to help – “A devastating earthquake shook Turkey and Syria this morning, killing hundreds of people and injuring many more. Our thoughts are with the people of Turkey and Syria. The EU is ready to help” : the High Representative for Foreign Policy Josep Borrell writes it in a tweet.
Farnesina, for now no compatriots involved in the earthquake – At the moment, “no compatriots are injured or dead” in the areas hit by the earthquake in Turkey and Syria. This was announced by sources from the Farnesina.
“Following the violent earthquake that hit the regions of southern Turkey and northern Syria last night at 4:17, the Crisis Unit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has made contact with compatriots present in the country and is acting in close collaboration with the Italian diplomatic-consular representations in the area to verify the conditions of the Italian communities in the affected areas. At the moment there are no wounded or dead among compatriots”, specifies the Farnesina. “All Italians present in the areas affected for any reason, even temporarily, are requested to register on the “Where we are in the world” website and download the “Crisis Unit” APP for mobile phones, activating geolocation”.
Strong tremors also in Lebanon – Terror in the night for the populations of various Lebanese cities where the earthquake with its epicenter in southern Turkey was felt several times also in Beirut, Tripoli and other Lebanese cities without however causing casualties or damage. “We thought it was another August 4,” a Lebanese woman told local media, terrified of reliving the trauma of the devastating Beirut port explosion that killed 250 people and injured more than 6,000 on August 4, 2020. Lebanese Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi reported that there are no victims in Lebanon but has ordered the civil protection to secure civilians in areas where there are dangerous buildings and infrastructures.
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